Darcy More’s post on 10 things schools can do to facilitate implementation of L4L, makes the comment that Moodle for schools is a key strategy. The DET learning tools applications admittedly have been a little slow to emerge (blog only now in Beta), Wiki due trial for Term 3 and eBackpack to be announced shortly. However I’m confident they will provide the basis for a true eLearning platform-one that will challenge the need (for schools at least) in using LMS solutions. Yes the use of Moodle has recieved significant interest in schools however the question we need to ask is how are they using Moodle? I suspect that most NSW schools are using Moodle simjply as a web publishing tool- to publish and store & retrieve resources. Only the DE/CAP schools, I’d argue are in anyway significantly utilising Moodle as a LMS- ie tracking student learning experiences, monitoring assessment work, creating collaborative and shared resources and integrating all facets of online learning. LAMS on the other hand- has the potential to offer something different- based on learning design principles. Again its uptake seems restricted to the DE schools in this State.
Even in the HE sector, while uptake of new gen LMS such as Moodle and Sakai is significant (eg ANU 97%) usage – look behind the stats and this may mean nothing more than X no. students have access to the platform. The concept of providing dedicated tools integrated into the DET environment (both technically & from a business perspsective), to me is a better model- rather than using a ‘one size’ fits all LMS paltform. A debate emerging is also in relation to other systems such as Sharepoint -which might also provide a suitable learning environment. However the DET learning tools are being developed in response to business needs developed specifically from our NSW teachers , and once released will be maintained in response to the users (teachers/students) needs . The challenge though will be in allowing the best of breed tools to be ‘plug & played’ into an accessible platform- a platform which allows for individual need according to shifting roles in teaching & learning.